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VT Students plan protest when Dr. Charles Murray speaks

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BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - A number of Virginia Tech students and faculty are speaking out against an upcoming lecture by author Doctor Charles Murray.

Murray is known for writing the book called The Bell Curve. Some students and activists claim the book links intelligence to class and race.

Tori Coan is a junior at Virginia Tech.

She's part of the Women's Based Plus organization, it's a feminist activist club at the university.

Coan is outraged Doctor Charles Murray will speak.

"His doctrine of genetic and biological inferior it is completely contrary to the large large majority or social science research," Coan said.

According to Amazon's and Barnes and Noble's overview the book links intelligence to class and race in modern society.

It's a message that doesn't sit well with a group of faculty members called "Still Concerned a Virginia Tech faculty Initiative.

Members in the group are working with student organizations and plan to protest his visit.

The group argues that Murray has built his career on false claims about inferiority of minorities, women, low income individuals and people with disabilities.

"This just threw everyone off, this is a counter to all the initiatives to the univeristy and community to be a welcoming and more inclusive community," Margaret Breslau, the chair on Coalition for Justice said.

Murray's visit also sparked leaders at Virginia Tech to respond. President Tim Sands responded to community's concern.

In open letter to the university he said in part, "We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination and we affirm the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the university."

Sands also commented "this will not be the last time the university invites someone whose views will be regarded by some as offensive or even fraudulent."

Doctor Murray issued his own statement in part and said "The topic about the bell curve was not about race but as the book subtitle says intelligence and class structure in American life."

Some students are planning events ahead of Doctor Murray's visit.

They'll be a teach in on Wednesday, March 23 for the community to learn more about Murray.

Other organizations plan a protest next Friday, March 25 when Murray is expected to speak.